Key States, High Stakes: Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, and the 2010 Elections

Overview

The 2010 elections were one of the most highly anticipated midterm elections in our nation's recent history. After the historic 2008 election, in which America elected its first black president, Sarah Palin's involvement and the emergence of the Tea Party in the 2010 congressional elections had the potential to transform the composition of congress and set the stage for the nation's politics for the next decade, or even the next generation.

In this new edited volume, Charles S. ...

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Key States, High Stakes: Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, and the 2010 Elections

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Overview

The 2010 elections were one of the most highly anticipated midterm elections in our nation's recent history. After the historic 2008 election, in which America elected its first black president, Sarah Palin's involvement and the emergence of the Tea Party in the 2010 congressional elections had the potential to transform the composition of congress and set the stage for the nation's politics for the next decade, or even the next generation.

In this new edited volume, Charles S. Bullock III collects original contributions from top political scientists to evaluate Sarah Palin and the Tea Party's role in the 2010 midterm elections. Key States, High Stakes focuses on states where Republicans had the chance to pick up Senate seats, as well as examining GOP Senate primaries if they involved a Palin or a Tea Party nominee facing an establishment favorite. Bullock concludes the anthology with a chapter on the legacy of the Tea Party and of Sarah Palin on American politics.

One thing is certain. In terms of control of the House and Senate (and its effect on President Obama's policy agenda), the prospects for the 2012 presidential race, and the long-term viability of the Tea Party movement, the stakes in the 2010 midterm elections could not have been higher.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
The focus on Senate races distinguishes this book from others. Contributors examine 16 different 2010 contests in order to investigate the roles that Sarah Palin, Senator Jim DeMint, and the Tea Party movement played in different contests. What emerges is the view that Palin was the most pragmatic, supporting candidates who were likely to win even if they were not the most conservative, while DeMint opposed "establishment" Republicans, and the Tea Party movement, which was not as centralized and monolithic as some commentators suggested, supported many candidates. In some states, different Tea Party factions supported different Republican candidates. While Palin, DeMint, and the movement often prevailed in primaries, in some cases the candidates they backed (O'Donnell, Delaware; Angle, Nevada; Buck, Colorado) proved to be easier for Democrats to beat, which permitted the party to retain a majority. It is also clear that while these conservative forces may have helped nominate a number of candidates in 2010, they were just one of many factors that worked against the Democrats in 2010. Bullock ends the book by asking whether the Tea Party was a one-election phenomenon or if it will be a force in 2012. The answer remains to be seen. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; undergraduate and graduate students.
Seth C. McKee
Focusing on sixteen high profile Senate races, Key States, High Stakes takes us on a cross-country tour of how these campaigns unfolded and how the role of the Tea Party movement and the involvement of Sarah Palin and other influential politicians [such as] South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint affected the outcomes….Charles Bullock's stable of authors explain[s] why Republicans fell short in winning back the U.S. Senate. Key States, High Stakes is a must read for anyone who wants a detailed look at what factors contributed to GOP success and shortcomings in the most contentious and pivotal 2010 Senate contests.
David W. Brady
Much ink has been spilled over the Tea Party effect on the 2010 elections with little in the way of solid results. This interesting and informative book provides objective analyses of the important Senate races where the Tea Party and/or Palin or DeMint tried to influence the outcomes. The analyses of the individual races are interesting and conclusions regarding effects are analytical not ideological. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the Tea Party and the 2010 elections.
CHOICE
The focus on Senate races distinguishes this book from others. Contributors examine 16 different 2010 contests in order to investigate the roles that Sarah Palin, Senator Jim DeMint, and the Tea Party movement played in different contests. What emerges is the view that Palin was the most pragmatic, supporting candidates who were likely to win even if they were not the most conservative, while DeMint opposed "establishment" Republicans, and the Tea Party movement, which was not as centralized and monolithic as some commentators suggested, supported many candidates. In some states, different Tea Party factions supported different Republican candidates. While Palin, DeMint, and the movement often prevailed in primaries, in some cases the candidates they backed (O'Donnell, Delaware; Angle, Nevada; Buck, Colorado) proved to be easier for Democrats to beat, which permitted the party to retain a majority. It is also clear that while these conservative forces may have helped nominate a number of candidates in 2010, they were just one of many factors that worked against the Democrats in 2010. Bullock ends the book by asking whether the Tea Party was a one-election phenomenon or if it will be a force in 2012. The answer remains to be seen. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; undergraduate and graduate students.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442210967
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/16/2011
  • Pages: 254
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles S. Bullock, III, is the Richard Russell Professor of Political Science and Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Georgia. His most recent books are the fourth edition of The New Politics of the Old South (co-edited with Mark Rozell), Georgia Politics in a State of Change (co-authored with Keith Gaddie), Redistricting: The Most Political Activity in America and The Triumph of Voting Rights in the South (co-authored with Keith Gaddie), winner of the V. O. Key Award as the best book published on Southern Politics in 2009.

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Table of Contents

1 The 2010 Elections Charles S. Bullock, III 1

Part 1 Sarah Palin's Mama Grizzlies

2 Mama Grizzly Nearly Trapped: New Hampshire's Republican Senate Primary Dante J. Scala 13

3 Sacrificing Electoral Viability for Ideological Purity: Christine O'Donnell and the Delaware Senate Race Daniel C. Reed 25

4 Nevada: The Tea Party Takes On Harry Reid but from the Wrong Angle Ted G. Jelen 39

5 "A Deep Blue Hole"? California, the Tea Party, and the 2010 Midterm Elections Amy Widestrom Christopher Dennis 51

Part 2 Tea Party Favorites

6 Florida: A Plummeting Economy, Tea Parties, and Palin Give GOP a Clean Sweep Susan A. MacManus David J. Bonanza Mary L. Moss 65

7 Randslide: Tea Party Success in the Establishment's Backyard Joel Turner Scott Lasley 79

8 Ron Johnson: The Accidental Tea Partier Geoffrey Peterson 91

9 The Pennsylvania Senate Race: Toomey's Time Stanley P. Berard 101

10 Colorado: The Centennial State Bucks the National Trend M. Jean Kingston 113

11 The 2010 West Virginia Senate Race Robert Rupp 125

12 The Empire Strikes Back: The 2010 Elections in New York Costas Panagopoulos 137

Part 3 States Not in the Tea Party Playbook

13 Arkansas: The Kettle That Didn't Whistle Andrew Dowdle Joseph D. Giammo 153

14 Coats vs. Ellsworth: The 2010 Indiana Senate Race Michael A. Maggiotto Raymond H. Scheele 165

15 The Blue and the Red in the Land of Obama: The 2010 Midterms in Illinois Janna L. Deitz 177

16 The 2010 Washington U.S. Senate Race: Two Familiar Faces and Two Potential Wild Cards Edward Anegon David Nice 189

17 Connecticut: Too Liberal to Be Palin's Cup of Tea Diana Evans 199

18 Conclusion: Evaluating Palin, the Tea Party, and Demint Influences Charles S. Bullock, III 211

Notes 227

Index 233

About the Contributors 241

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